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Cuomo promises $1.2 million for Canalside carousel

Gov. Andrew M.  Cuomo furthered the state's commitment to the Buffalo waterfront Wednesday with a $1.2 million grant for construction of a new "carousel house" at Canalside.

Speaking to about 150 invited guests at Templeton Landing, the governor sweetened a pot of $600,000 announced earlier this year by Assemblyman Sean M. Ryan. The carousel house will house a vintage amusement machine manufactured in North Tonawanda about a century ago and stored in an Ohio warehouse since 1954.

The total cost of the new Canalside attraction is estimated at $2.4 million, with more funding to stem from other sources.

Cuomo credited the perseverance of the DeAngelis family of Massachusetts in sticking with their dream of reincarnating the carousel they had owned for many years, and delved into his familiar praise for the state-sponsored renaissance of the Buffalo waterfront.

"That carousel is a perfect metaphor for the past 30 years and the past six years," he said. "We would not give up on the dream for the past 30 years. Some people moved away [from Buffalo], but some people held onto the dream."

He continued his metaphor by likening the new version of the old carousel to a new version of a once-thriving Buffalo.

"When that carousel is rebuilt, it will be a better carousel than it ever was before," he said.

Cuomo, who is known in Albany for paying attention to slight details of megaprojects, even hinted where he would like to see the new attraction.

"I think right next to Clinton's Ditch would be perfect," he said, "but I'm not going to say."

Mayor Byron W. Brown said the city will transfer a Canalside parcel, approximately 1 acre in size, to the state's Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. to facilitate construction.

The idea for a solar-powered Herschell-Spillman (built in 1924) carousel on Buffalo's waterfront has been suggested since 2003.

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